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June 26, 2013
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New trial date set for Beale protesters

A federal court judge has set a trial date in August for five people — several of whom are from Nevada County — who protested the U.S. use of drones at Beale Air Force Base in October 2011.

The five defendants are Sharon Delgado, David Hartsough, Janet Hartsough, Janie Kesselman and Shirley Osgood. Osgood and Delgado are Nevada County residents, and Kesselman lives in Camptonville.

They were arraigned in January in Sacramento federal court on misdemeanor charges of unlawfully entering military property; all five pleaded not guilty and asked for a trial.

“I pleaded not guilty by reason of necessity, because the harm being done is of such a scope that I felt it necessary to stand up and make my concerns known,” Delgado said at the time.

The defendants face as much as six months and a $5,000 fine for the misdemeanor trespassing charge.

On the day of the arrest, about 100 activists from as far away as Fresno, the Bay Area, Sacramento, Chico and other California cities unfurled large banners and carried model drones and large photos of child victims of drone strikes to show the dark side of drone warfare, according to a press release.

Beale has been a target of anti-drone protests for years; it is home to the U2 and the Global Hawk, the unmanned surveillance drone.

Peace advocates have urged an immediate ban on the use of all drones for extra-judicial killing; a halt to all drone surveillance in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen and Somalia; a prohibition on the sale and distribution of drones and drone technology to foreign countries; and an immediate stop to drone warfare.

Judge Katherine K. Delaney set Aug. 12 as the new trial date, at the federal courthouse at 5th and I streets in Sacramento.

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The Union Updated Jun 28, 2013 01:21PM Published Jun 27, 2013 02:58PM Copyright 2013 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.